It looks like Poker After Dark will be back on television screens in the USA next week – if a tweet from respected blogger Kevin ‘Kevmath’ Mathers is to be believed.

Poker After DarkBlack Friday, as we all know, hit poker in the States hard, but it wasn’t just a lack of online play that cut deep as televised poker suddenly became rather scarce, as well, with national network NBC’s always-popular Poker After Dark among the many casualties.

However, Two Plus Two moderator Mathers has reported that NBC Sports Network – who suddenly cancelled the show back in September of last year – still have 24 episodes ready to broadcast.

In fact, it appears the first of these two-dozen shows will be aired on Monday evening – and rumours circulating across various poker forums suggest there could well be new shows filmed, if a new sponsor can be found.

Rumours Suggest New Sponsor Has Been Found

As with all rumours, very few hard facts can be found, but speculation is already rife that a USA-based casino could well be interested in providing that much-needed sponsorship now that the States appear to be moving towards legalised online poker.

Certainly, NBC Sports Network do look as if they have plans in place to broadcast re-runs of Poker After Dark, but we won’t hold our collectives breaths at Poker News Report for any new episodes, even if many poker commentators are confident of such an occurrence.

Of course, beleaguered poker room Full Tilt Poker were the programme sponsors at the time of the show’s demise back on September 23 last year and obviously Poker After Dark producers could not be certain that their troubles with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) would not continue.

That has proved to be the case as Full Tilt’s potential buyers, French investment firm Groupe Bernard Tapie, have still not completed that deal yet following the poker room’s closure by the DoJ back on April 15 last year as allegations of bank fraud, illegal gambling and money laundering were levelled at the poker website.

Full Tilt Poker’s Demise Hit TV Poker Hard

Poker PROductions

It was certainly no coincidence that the show’s cancellation arrived just days after US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara stated that Full Tilt had carried out a ‘Ponzi scheme’ on their customers.

The one little piece of hope poker fans in the USA were able to cling on to was NBC Sports senior director of communications Adam Freifeld’s suggestion that the network would “continue to evaluate our poker programming”.

Now, however, the rumour mill has exploded over the past few days following Mathers’ original post on microblogging website Twitter, with Poker PROductions – who produced the shows which were mostly shot in December of 2010 – appearing to confirm that Poker After Dark will be back next week.

No press release has been forthcoming from the Las Vegas-based company – who have also produced ESPN’s coverage of the World Series of Poker (WSOP), NBC’s National Heads-Up Championship, as well as GSN’s World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) and High Stakes Poker – but Poker PROductions did post a statement on Twitter.

Positive Tweet from Production Company

Twitter

The Poker_Prod POKER PROductions tweet stated:

  • “RT @Kevmath: Good news for poker TV fans: Poker After Dark returns, airing on the NBC Sports Network. More to come soon.”

If Poker After Dark does reappear on Monday night, then poker fans can look forward to five weeks’ worth of shows that will feature four weeks of cash games and one of sit and gos.

It would be very interesting to hear what Poker PROductions founder Mori Eskandani – himself a former poker pro – has to say about all this, but we will keep you up to date on any developments.
Having spoken to several of my American friends, they are certainly thrilled by this news – especially as NBC removed the poker section from their website not long after the cancellation of Poker After Dark.

USA On Course for Online Legalisation

Ultimately, though, with the USA seemingly on course to legalise online gambling, we should take this as a positive signal that poker is on the rise again in the North American nation that gave the world its greatest game.

We at Poker For Free have our fingers crossed that this is the case, as do, I am sure, the many millions of viewers throughout the globe who have regularly tuned in to watch the world’s best players in action.